George Iloka continues to exercise patience with hurt ankle

CINCINNATI -- George Iloka may be on the verge of missing his first game since he was a rookie.

The fourth-year Cincinnati Bengals safety sat out practice Thursday, marking the second straight day he was sidelined. A bad ankle has slowed him lately. The effects of it were so bad last Sunday at Baltimore that he took himself out of the game because he felt his presence on the bum leg was hurting the defense.

A couple of overrun tackle attempts and Iloka realized he didn't need to be on the field.

"As a competitor, you want to be in there. You want to be able to play every week," Iloka said earlier this week. "I wasn't playing like myself. I wasn't making the plays that I usually make. As much as it hurt me to pull myself out, I told [defensive coordinator Paul Guenther] and he was like 'all right.'"

So Iloka came out. That decision could have an impact on whether he ends up participating in Sunday's game against the Chiefs. Iloka expressed an interest earlier this week in wanting to be as patient as possible with the ankle, so that he doesn't have to remove himself from a game again.

"I've got to get healthy so I can go out there and play like I know I can," Iloka said. "With the backups we have and how good they are, it made it a little bit easier [to take himself out]. I would have felt bad if I came out and we lost."

If Iloka is a scratch this weekend, he will be replaced like he was last Sunday by reserve safety Shawn Williams. In relief, Williams played 31 defensive snaps to go along with his 21 on special teams. That wasn't far behind Iloka's 43. Williams made the most of his limited action, picking up three tackles.

Originally hurt in the season opener at Oakland, Iloka's injury stemmed from a play on which he and a teammate made contact while both were tackling Raiders receiver Amari Cooper.

Here's the Bengals' complete Thursday injury report, one that looked favorable other than Iloka's absence:


S George Iloka (ankle)


DT Marcus Hardison (knee)

DT Pat Sims (hip)

OT Andre Smith (hip)*

CB Adam Jones (elbow)*

CB Dre Kirkpatrick (shoulder)*

* denotes players who were upgraded from limited participation Wednesday.